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Scholarships are a way to close the gap between the cost of attendance at a college and a family’s own resources. Among the many scholarships that students can apply for are those that are established to support students based upon the ways they define themselves. There is no comprehensive list of identity-based scholarships; professional associations, companies, non-profit entities, religious organizations, political groups, and colleges and universities are among the many sponsors of scholarships that may be awarded in part based upon a student’s race, ethnicity, religion, sexual orientation, or presence of a disability. Bright Horizons College Coach wants to help ensure that students from all backgrounds have access to the resources they need to achieve their educational goals and has therefore launched this monthly scholarship series to help students pinpoint funding opportunities based upon their unique identities. Check out the below resources, along with the other posts in the series, and you may discover funding sources that will make covering that college bill a little (or a lot!) easier.

This month, we look at scholarship resources for students with disabilities. Note that the below list is not exhaustive, but is intended to provide a starting place for students with disabilities to launch their scholarship searches. Your high school’s counseling office, general scholarship search sites, and college websites can also provide useful scholarship information.

DisabilityScholarships.us allows students to search for scholarships based on specific learning disabilities or medical conditions.

Understood is a non-profit with a focus on supporting individuals with learning differences, such as dyslexia and ADHD. Young adults can view scholarship listings, articles, and research that offer insight into how they can thrive at school, home and work.

OnlineSchools.org maintains a list of scholarships for students affected by various types of disabilities or physical/mental impairments at:

Scholarships.com allows students to search for scholarships based on specific learning disabilities or medical conditions. Students can visit and search for scholarships after creating a profile and selecting related disabilities or conditions and get matched with a list of potential scholarships. Please note that this site requires registration prior to gaining access to potential scholarships. Before registering, please review the site’s privacy policies to ensure they meet your standards for use of your personal data.

DREAM (Disability Right, Education, Activism, and Mentoring) is a national organization that offers college access support to students of any age with any kind of disability. Sponsored by the National Center for College Students with Disabilities, DREAM helps students connect with local supports on college campuses. The site has a comprehensive list of organizations that focus specifically on disability and higher education issues, from students with mobility issues to mental health awareness.

The National Center for Learning Disabilities awards scholarships to both 2- and 4-year college students with a documented learning disability or ADHD.

Remember, students are expected to report outside scholarships they receive to their college, and receipt of scholarships may impact other parts of a student’s financial aid award. It is best practice to reach out to the Financial Aid Office at your college for clarification of awarding policies.

Determine the Best Way to Pay for College

Written by Robyn Stewart
Robyn Stewart is a member of College Coach’s team of college finance experts. Prior to joining College Coach, she worked as a former financial aid officer at College of the Holy Cross. Visit our website to learn more about Robyn Stewart.